If you've been toying with the idea of writing for years, or have a novel waiting to be told in your head, now may be the moment to get going...
The Women's Prize for Fiction Trust is launching Discoveries, a writers’ development programme for aspiring female writers of all ages, tailored to provide guidance, encouragement and support as they embark on their creative journeys.
Kate Mosse, novelist and founder director of Women’s Prize for Fiction, said in the release: “Somewhere out there, our Women’s Prize winner of the future is considering whether to pick up the pen – to her I want to say: do it. ‘Discoveries’ is here to help you on your way.
"For 25 years, the Women’s Prize has championed female writers to tell their own stories and make sure as diverse and wide a range of voices are heard. Whether you’re 88, 48 or 18, the beginning of one’s writing journey is a crucial time and the authors of tomorrow, whoever they are, wherever they are, deserve support today.”
If just hearing about this opportunity is making you feel a bit excited, then there's no excuse! This could be the start of a big adventure.
The programme is open to all women over 18, residing in the UK or Ireland. Any genre of adult fiction is allowed but submissions must be written in English. Entrants are not required to have finished a novel – only the opening three chapters or up to 10,000 words – and submission is free.
If you aren't sure you're quite ready to write a book, then there's also help on hand. In the lead up to the application process opening in September 2020, a whole programme of online content is being curated to help and guide entrants with their submissions. It will boast interviews with publishing industry professionals, practical advice and inspiration from former winners and shortlisted writers of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, plus teaching notes by Curtis Brown Creative Writing School.
After the competition closes in January 2021, sixteen entrants will make the longlist and six the shortlist; selected by a judging panel, all will win personalised mentorship packages from an agent or expert, and free or discounted places on creative writing courses. The winner will also be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000.
Title partner NatWest, will also gift the Discoveries winner access to space, tools and events in its entrepreneurial accelerator hubs, as well as membership to its Business Builder community. Financial planning tools, coaching and free office space, including Wi-Fi and printing, will all help the budding novelist get started with their writing career.
This incredible opportunity will guide you through the whole process so that you can unleash the creativity you've never quite been brave enough to.
Discoveries will open for entries from 7 September 2020 to 17 January 2021. The programme will be open to all women aged 18 and above, residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English. The programme will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction.
The longlist and shortlist of Discoveries will be announced in the spring of 2021, and those selected will be invited to attend the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction award ceremony in summer 2021.
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